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Bill Ziff: In Memoriam

Bill Ziff, who was chairman and chief executive officer of Ziff Communications Co. from 1953 to 1994, died on  Sept.
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Written by Dan Farber, Inactive on

Bill Ziff, who was chairman and chief executive officer of Ziff Communications Co. from 1953 to 1994, died on  Sept. 9 at the age of 76. He was the visionary behind the birth of the Ziff-Davis technology magazine empire, including PCWeek and MacWeek, where I served as editor in chief. I encountered Bill Ziff many times during my stint at ZD, and was inspired by his breadth of knowledge, curiosity, sheer brilliance and devotion to great editorial. I will always remember the time when I was contemplating leaving ZD in the early 1990s, looking for a new challenge, something to do with multimedia as I recall. Bill Ziff took me to dinner somewhere in Menlo Park, and convinced me that staying with the company and taking on a new management challenge, PCWeek, would be rewarding, and he wasn't talking about money. He told me, "Don't always go for the adrenal." That's a lesson I have never forgotten and have passed on to others.  Bloomberg and the New York Times have obituaries. 

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